Parent faces misdemeanor battery charge in altercation
A Gardnerville parent accused of attacking a middle school coach after a basketball game will face a misdemeanor battery charge, the Carson City District Attorney’s Office has decided.
Chief Criminal Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer said Friday Dan Paterson, 51, will be summoned to Carson City justice court. She said a hearing will probably be scheduled within the next few weeks.
Langer said Paterson cooperated with investigators, but she declined to elaborate on the contents of a report filed with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office on the alleged Oct. 26 incident. The report has not been made public, and Langer said it probably will not be available for public inspection until Wednesday or Thursday.
According to Justin Pruett, coach of the Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School eighth grade girls’ basketball team, Paterson attacked Pruett following a game at Eagle Valley Middle School. Pau-Wa-Lu lost the game, and Pruett said Paterson was apparently upset by his coaching decisions.
Pruett previously said Paterson punched him in the back of the head, pushed him against a wall and threatened him, but declined further comment Friday. A person familiar with the Carson sheriff’s report confirmed those allegations were listed.
Paterson disputes Pruett’s allegations. He said he tried to approach Pruett following the game on behalf of his daughter, a team member, but Pruett rebuffed him.
“I did not punch him or shove him. All I did was grab his collar,” said Paterson. “I just wanted to express a concern to him. I tried to get him to stop and talk for a few seconds, and things just got out of hand. I didn’t go to confront him.”
Paterson, a retired teacher, said he also coached for 20 years and understands the pressures of the job, but thinks Pruett was partly to blame for the altercation. He said the incident has been “misrepresented.”
“I thought he handled the situation very unprofessionally,” said Paterson. “There are a lot of things he could have done to defuse it instead of inciting it.
“I’m disappointed with the way he responded and I’m disappointed with the way I responded. Things have been blown out of proportion.”